Despite Poor Showing in San Francisco, Russell Wilson Still in MVP Discussion

Keith MyersContributor IDecember 8, 2013

December 8, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes the football during warm ups before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks lost this week in San Francisco, but the buzz around quarterback Russell Wilson isn't likely to diminish. Seattle's young passer has been generating plenty of discussion in recent weeks as a possible NFL MVP, including from commentator Jon Gruden during the Monday Night Football broadcast in Week 12.

Russell Wilson's stats in San Francisco weren't up to par with how he's played in recent weeks. He finished just 15-of-25 for 199 yards and one touchdown. He also had an interception on a Hail Mary pass at the end of regulation. While completing 60 percent of his passes with eight yards per attempt and a passer rating of 81.9 isn't bad, it's also not what was expected out of an MVP candidate. 

And yet, Wilson's resume this season is still impressive.

His team is 11-2 and almost certain to be the No. 1 seed in the NFC. There is also a fairly good chance that his team will end up with the best record of any team in the NFL this season. 

Wilson's mark of 8.8 yards per attempt is the best in the NFL for a quarterback with at least nine starts, and only Denver's Peyton Manning has a higher passer rating this season. Wilson has thrown just seven interceptions. Only Kansas City's Alex Smith has fewer.

Wilson has also added 458 yards on the ground, more than any quarterback whose team is in the playoff hunt.

Russell's Wilson's NFL Rank Among Full-Time Quarterbacks
Passer Rating2nd
Yards Per Attempt1st
Completion Percentage5th
Passes over 20 yards8th
Percentage of Passes Completed for 1st Down3rd
Percentage of Passes Under Pressure1st
Percentage of 3rd-Down Passes That Result in 1st Down2nd
Rushing Yards3rd
Yards Per Carry3rd

Pressure percentage is from Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Third-down statistic is from Stats

It is also important to note that most of these stats for Wilson were compiled while playing with a severely depleted offense around him. The Seahawks have played most of this season without their top two wide receivers (Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin) and both starting offensive tackles. Center Max Unger and tight end Zach Miller have also both missed games this year.

Ultimately though, Wilson still has some major ground to make up on Denver's Peyton Manning if he's going to bring home the MVP award. Manning has far more passing yards, and he has almost twice as many touchdowns (45) as Wilson (23) does right now.

Wilson is definitely still in the MVP discussion. One subpar outing isn't going to change that. But if he's going to stay in the race, he will need to have some big games in the final three weeks of the season.